How To Stop Gout Pain At Night

Gout is an inflammatory condition that is very common in the UK. The pain and swelling it causes can make it difficult for you to perform everyday tasks or concentrate on work or leisure activities because the pain can be very distracting.

Can’t sleep because of gout pain?

People often find it difficult to sleep at night when having a gout flare because the pain and discomfort can keep them awake. Gout most commonly affects the joint of the big toe, but it can affect other joints such as knees, ankles, feet, hands, wrists, or elbows.

The problem with gout is that it can often flare suddenly, especially at night, waking you up and preventing you from getting back to sleep. Gout can seriously reduce your sleep quality, leaving you feeling fatigued the next day and unable to concentrate.

Why does my gout hurt more at night?

A study published in Arthritis Rheumatology found that gout attacks were 2.4 times higher during the night and early morning than during the day. Pain and swelling caused by a gout attack can also last for a few days to a couple of weeks, disrupting your sleep further.

Researchers think that people are more prone to gout attacks during the night for several reasons, including:

  • A drop in body temperature: Your body temperature drops a little while sleeping, just enough to encourage uric acid crystals to form in the joints, causing a gout attack.
  • Your breathing range changes: Breathing slows while sleeping, meaning your lungs don’t expel as much carbon dioxide, increasing the acidity level of the blood and triggering the production of uric acid.
  • You have sleep apnea: If you have sleep apnea, you are 1.86 times more likely to develop gout compared to those without.

Why does my gout hurt more at night?

Your body goes through a corticosteroid circadian cycle each day. Corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory hormones that your body produces every day. It helps to reduce pain from inflammation issues such as gout.

We naturally secrete more corticosteroids in the morning to wake us up and boost our energy, ready for the day ahead. The levels of corticosteroids are lowest at night to help us relax and sleep. This explains why gout flares can feel more painful at night.

How can I sleep comfortably with gout?

You can take general anti-inflammatory pain relief medications to help control gout. Treatment can include steroids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

You can also use a cold compress to help reduce the swelling and inflammation to soothe your pain. You can get cold packs from most pharmacies, keep a bottle of frozen water in the freezer at home, wrap it in a tea towel or facecloth, and place it under your affected joint.

If you suffer from gout and want to find the fastest and most effective way to treat it and relieve your pain, it is worth booking a private consultation with Dr Bhadauria in one of his London clinics.

Does gout go away overnight?

If you are experiencing a gout flare, resting up is one of the best things you can do. Taking anti-inflammatory medications close to bedtime can also help to relieve gout pain overnight.

Create a good sleep environment by avoiding caffeine from the late afternoon and giving yourself time to wind down and relax before bed. Sleep with light sheets over your feet instead of a heavy duvet or blanket to reduce the weight and pressure on your painful toe.

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